Long hair is the ultimate beauty goal... at least, it’s mine! I Google “how to make your hair grow faster” at least once a month, and chances are you do too if you’ve found yourself here. But my journey to long hair never seems to be a success. My strands get to a certain point and stop growing. Hair grows at an average rate of half an inch every month: that means the average person's hair grows only about 6 inches every year. Some people have a longer hair growth phase, so their strands can grow to crazy lengths. Unfortunately, I’m not one of those people, but I haven’t given up on my long hair dream. And neither should you! It takes a little patience, but you can encourage your hair to grow longer and stronger. If you’re dealing with thinning hair, hair loss, hair breakage, or you just want longer hair; we’re talking hair growth ahead. We’ve rounded up the best hair care products, treatments, and tips to help your hair grow longer, faster.
You might be surprised to learn that your hair doesn’t actually stop growing at a certain length, it stops growing at the end of your hair growth cycle. Your hair’s growth phase is determined by your genetics and can last anywhere between two and six years. So once the hair reaches the end of its growth cycle, it stops growing and will either break off or shed. Genetics can also play a role in determining the concentration of your thyroid hormone, which can also affect your hair’s ability to grow.
Your age also affects your hair growth because your cycle becomes shorter the older you get. Your beginning six-year cycle slowly reduces to a two-year cycle, making your hair thinner and less likely to grow. In addition, as you age your scalp produces less oil leading to dryer hair that’s more prone to split ends and breakage.
Just like it affects your physical health, your diet also affects the health of your hair. For healthy hair, you need a diet rich in iron, vitamin D, zinc, B-complex, and collagen. Iron is found naturally in things like eggs and chicken, while mushrooms and yogurt are natural sources of Vitamin D. Zinc can be found in red meat, beans, and nuts and collagen is found in dark leafy greens like spinach and kale. Supplement with a B-complex vitamin which includes biotin to increase the rate of hair follicle growth.
Shedding is a natural part of the hair growth process and it happens to everyone (even the ones with the really good hair). But if your hair falls out faster than it can regrow, then shedding can be the reason you can’t get your strands past a certain point.
Stress is another reason your hair might not be growing. Both emotional and physical stress is linked to hair loss because it restricts the growth cycle. Finding ways to de-stress improves your mental health, as well as the health of your hair. Things like meditation, exercise, and doing a hair mask while binging Netflix are all good ways to relax and eliminate stress.
Breakage is one of the most common causes behind your hair not growing. If your hair is breaking off just as fast as it grows, then it’s impossible to gain length. Lots of common habits can be contributing to your hair breakage. Let’s take a look below.
What causes hair breakage?
These tips and hacks will help you gain length fast.
Brushing your strands while they’re wet and at their most vulnerable will result in breakage and split ends. Use a wide-tooth comb to detangle your hair completely before showering. Start at your ends while gently and slowly working your way up.
Hot water dehydrates your hair causing brittle, broken strands. Keep the heat to lukewarm and wash gently with a sulfate-free shampoo like our Energizing Shampoo for thin hair to stimulate hair growth. Follow up with a conditioner and finish with a blast of cold water to seal your hair cuticles, and make your hair shiny and smooth.
Every time you shampoo your hair, you must condition it. Our vegan conditioner for damaged hair deeply moisturizes damaged strands and reinforces the structure of your hair. Focus on the mid-shaft and ends of your hair and let the conditioner sit for a few minutes.
Products, sweat, and oil build up on your scalp and hair follicles over time. This impedes your hair’s growth and your chances of gaining length. Destress and stimulate your hair follicles for new hair growth at the same time by using an exfoliating wet brush to gently massage your scalp while your conditioner works.
Towel drying your hair roughs up the cuticle and leads to frizzy hair. It can also result in hair breakage due to the weight of the towel. Instead, wring excess water out of your hair with a microfiber hair towel. Then pat your hair dry and let it air dry, if you can. But we realize this isn't always the case, and sometimes you need to use heat, in which case…
Think of using heat protectant before using hot tools, the same way you would use sunscreen before going in the sun. A heat protecting hair product coats the strands, forming a barrier between your hair and the stress of the heat; just be sure to use the right temperature when heat styling your hair. Finer or thinning hair is more susceptible to damage, so try to use a lower temperature when using heat.
The Davines Energizing line was designed to fight and protect against hair loss and hair thinning. All the products in the line stimulate hair growth while reinforcing weak hair to prevent future breakage. Apply the treatment gel for thinning hair directly to the scalp after washing and conditioning your hair. Do not rinse out.
If you’ve found yourself to the end of this article then you know the struggle it can be to get your hair to grow. If you’re dealing with thinning hair, hair loss, hair breakage, or you just want longer hair, you don’t have to give up on your dream of growing Rapunzel-esque locks. You can encourage your strands to grow longer and stronger with our products, tips, and treatments. The Davines line of hair care products aren’t just good for your hair, they’re good for the planet. All of our formulas use natural ingredients and are made with renewable energy and packaging minimizing the environmental impact. If you’re wondering why you can’t get your length past a certain point, it’s time to take some action. Change up your habits and update your products, and you’ll gain length you never thought was possible. Your new long hair look awaits!
by Jaclyn LaBadia, featured contributor
Photos by @goldandglowco